Every City Should Have a Baby Drop Box -- Love, An Adoptee

03/20/2015 04:27 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2015


{Disclaimer: I am but one person with my own experience. Adoptees are human beings so of course our feelings and experiences vary from black to white to every shade of gray. I cannot and do not speak for everyone but will always stand up for everyone to have a chance to speak.}

I was not left in a baby box, but I was left behind. My birthmother left me with friends and did not return. She could have left me a million other places before she closed that car door and drove away without me. I was lucky. She found a place where there were people, where it was warm and where someone would eventually realize she was not coming back. I was just a baby and I was so much more fortunate than many abandoned babies today. In this day and age of open adoptions and safe havens, there are still many babies left illegally in areas that they cannot be found because their parent(s) fear taking them into the hospital or police station safe havens or there is no solution nearby. The majority of those children abandoned in other areas die. Now, as some countries consider eliminating baby boxes that have been used and have saved countless children over many, many years, the state of Indiana is considering allowing them.

If I could insert applause here, I would. Having been left, adopted, adopted my own children and worked in the adoption community I am thrilled for any safe landing for a child. I remember my mom calling me and getting weepy when she first heard of the Safe Havens, but honestly, we need something that goes a step further and we need it to be accessible in a moment of crisis. I have seen some attacking the idea of baby boxes with concern that the child will one day feel abandoned. I do not feel abandoned, never have. As a matter of fact, I feel blessed to be alive. But these considerations seem like luxuries in a time when babies are still dying.

Am I bothered by a baby being put in a box?
Nope. These boxes that Indiana is considering come complete with heating and cooling pads and sensors to alert someone that the child is there. As a matter of fact the ones proposed for Indiana are full out incubators. Good enough for your kid in the maternity ward, right? The child will go from one set of arms, almost immediately to another. Would you rather have moments in a box or hours in deadly heat or cold or other elements? Seems like a no-brainer. I boo hoo'd my way through the THE DROP BOX trailer about the Pastor and his wife in Korea who were saving abandoned babies, the first and fifth times I saw it. There have been some critics who saw the full film that have said that the Pastor and his wife are wrong. I personally would like to hug them for all they do for these children. DO you think those children, who are alive and loved today care that they spent minutes in that box before the Pastor or his wife saved their lives? Those children went from loving arms to loving arms.

Why don't we simply work to get to the root of the problem of abandonment? To be completely clear, when a little life is in danger how can the prior choices of the adult in his or her life be my first concern? How can we even consider NOT doing whatever we can to save the one person in the equation that cannot save themselves? The drop boxes are not there to cure poverty or mental illness or even drug abuse; there are many programs for that. The drop boxes have one main reason for existing, to save the lives of babies. Period.

Don't I care about the mother? Does this make abandonment ok? It seems that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child want to put a ban on the boxes in European countries that have used them in one form or another since medieval times. I think it is a mistake. A huge mistake to take away THIS option solely because they feel it throws family planning, and getting to the root of abandonment, under the bus. The truth is there are many, very well funded family planning resources. There are many programs for single mothers. There is a wealth of aid for those who need and qualify for assistance. There are drug and alcohol programs. There are free family counselors to assist those who want to be involved in creating an adoption plan for their child. So many resources! My hope, having known many birthmothers in my lifetime is that expectant mothers and new moms do seek out these resources if they would like to parent and not ever find themselves at such a point of crisis. I think many women cannot see that tomorrow is another day. That next year can be different than this year but her current choices are FOREVER. I do. BUT these are grown people that can make their own choices. A baby cannot. Shouldn't there be an option for them? Who are we as a country or a people if we do not do for the least of us.

Why do we even need baby boxes when there are plenty of adoption agencies, programs and for last resorts, Safe Haven drop off sites?
The reality is, not everyone will use any of these resources. Some children are left outside and will not be found because the mother fears handing her child over personally. Maybe it would be too hard. Maybe she imagines being extensively questioned. She may have a drug problem and fear repercussions. There are more reasons than stars as to why people do or don't do what makes sense or what would be best for themselves or their children. The boxes take away a few more reasons that a parent may use to talk themselves out of a safe haven drop off and instead leave the child in a less safe area.

So for those crying out that baby boxes leave no chance for parenting, for open adoptions, those that want to equate them to trash cans (which some children are still in fact left in) or those who are worried about the emotional ramifications for someone who started life this way, I say to you that all thoughts beyond first saving these children's lives are frivolous. Baby box, safe incubator, whatever you want to call it, while these are not our first choice for handling abandonment, poverty issues, drugs or mental illness they may be seen as the only choice for the mothers that are actually in crisis. These drop boxes may be the first and best choice for the survival of these children if the mothers will not seek out one of the other resources before her. These are not trash cans, they are vessels for saving lives in a time of crisis. Let's worry about saving these babies' lives, then the politicians and bureaucrats can chat all they want- only after these babies are safe.

I know it hurts your heart to believe it, but mothers do leave their babies. I am glad I was left somewhere safe. Can't we provide that option for all children? Don't we owe it to these tiny people who cannot do for themselves? If it only saved one life, wouldn't it be worth it?